Warning labels on cigarettes will soon go through the largest makeover in 25 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday.
By September 2012, nine health warning graphics will be required for every pack of cigarettes and every advertisement in the United States. The warning labels—which were originally proposed in November 2010 and are required under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act—were chosen out of 36 proposals.
“The Tobacco Control Act requires FDA to provide current and potential smokers with clear and truthful information about the risks of smoking – these warnings do that,” said Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret Hamburg.
The FDA chose the nine warning labels after obtaining results from an 18,000-person study and 1,700 comments. Each of the nine warnings will also contain the smoking cessation phone number 1-800-QUIT-NOW
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the labels will help end addictions.
“These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking,” she said. “President Obama wants to make tobacco-related death and disease part of the nation’s past, and not our future.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco continues to be the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the country. The drug is also responsible for 443,000 deaths and $200 billion in medical costs each year.
For more information, visit fda.gov/cigarettewarnings.